I used to be born and raised within the Bahamas. Listed here are the 11 largest errors I see vacationers make.

Nicole Bedford smiling on the beach

I lived in New Windfall for 28 years and counting.Nicole Bedford

  • I used to be born and raised in New Windfall, the most popular Bahamas island.

  • Many guests make the identical errors, starting from quick meals to overpaying for primary commodities in inns.

  • I encourage vacationers to go to multiple island as many are solely a day journey from Nassau.

I’m a Bahamian who was born and raised in New Windfall, so interactions with vacationers are a part of my day by day life.

Selfie of Nicole Bedford on the left, Exuma on the right

I’ve visited eight islands within the Bahamas all through my life.Nicole Bedford

My household has lived within the Bahamas since 1783. Like my ancestors, I used to be born and raised in New Windfall, probably the most touristic islands within the Bahamas.

Through the years I’ve spent quite a lot of time with vacationers. After working in tourism for 3 of my school summers and dealing on the Mandara Spa at Atlantis for a yr, I’ve seen guests make a fair share of unfortunate missteps.

As a proud resident of the Bahamas for 28+ years, I would like vacationers to keep away from making these frequent errors to be able to maximize their time visiting my dwelling and present it the respect it deserves.

Opposite to standard perception, there are locations to go to moreover New Windfall and Paradise Island.

The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island within the Bahamas.Pola Damonte/Getty Photos

New Windfall and Paradise Island (the house of Atlantis Bahamas) are world well-known trip locations, main many individuals to imagine that the islands are the one locations to go to within the Bahamas. However there may be rather more to see and do.

The Bahamas are a archipelago of 700 islands and 2,400 cays throughout the Atlantic Ocean, and solely 30 of those islands are inhabited and open to guests.

A few of these islands embody the Exumas, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Bimini, Andros, Lengthy Island, Grand Bahama, Abaco, and San Salvador. Every of the eight islands within the Bahamas that I’ve visited in my life has a definite and distinctive environment.

Not sufficient folks from island to island throughout their journey.

Nicole Bedford with her friends in a red boat on Rose Island

My buddies and I went on the boat journey once we have been on Rose Island.Nicole Bedford

Tourism is the Bahamas biggest industry. Though interact with the travelers a part of on a regular basis life, New Windfall particularly can really feel overcrowded with guests.

So, as an alternative of settling in a single place, I like to recommend going island hopping to extra distant areas.

Vacationers can go to salt deposits in Inagua, swim with pigs in Exumaand dive over 600 ft into the ocean to discover Dean’s Blue Hole off Long Island.

So long as guests are keen to discover past New Windfall (Exuma and Rose Island are only a day away), they’re going to discover the Bahamas has one thing for everybody.

It is disheartening to see vacationers consuming quick meals as an alternative of native Bahamian delicacies.

A conch salad from the Bahamas.

A conch salad from the Bahamas.Nicole Bedford

Like many western nations, the Bahamas has loads of quick meals locations like McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. Nonetheless, I get discouraged once I see vacationers consuming at these downtown Nassau spots as an alternative of grabbing a desk at an area Bahamian restaurant.

The Bahamas has a wealthy delicacies, from fresh fish in ceviche made with a marine mollusc referred to as a conch (pronounced “conk”).

Guests looking for actual Bahamian meals usually fall into the lure of going to locations which can be marketed as genuine however are literally marketed shells of what they was.

Fortunately, there are nonetheless eating places that serve nice Bahamian delicacies, like Gone Fish’n, Drifters, Frankie Gone Bananas, and Curly’s. I all the time inform newcomers to search out some actual native meals beneath the Paradise Island bridge.

The Household Islands, the title of the islands exterior of New Windfall, are additionally full of nice Bahamian fare, like grouper fingers and fries.

By no means leaving your resort to discover the island is an enormous mistake.

Island House, New Providence, view from the pool balcony

Island Home, resort, New Windfall.Nicole Bedford

I noticed many vacationers checking in large seaside resorts – like Baha Mar, Atlantis or Sandals – and keep there all through their journey. This hotel-centric route is nice for properties however not best for the island. Furthermore, it’s a missed alternative for guests to discover.

Nassau has so many sights to see, a lot tradition to expertise, and so many locals to work together with. Staying throughout the confines of a resort is a standard however vital fake pas.

Some folks anticipate issues to price the identical as of their nation.

tropical conch salad with Bahamian Kalik gold beer

Eating out will be costly within the Bahamas.Nicole Bedford

The Bahamas is considered one of most expensive countries in the world. Issues like resort rooms, groceries, and eating places are dearer right here than within the US or Canada.

Many vacationers who don’t analysis the Bahamas beforehand complain concerning the excessive price of meals, taxis and cocktails upon arrival. Consuming out will be fairly costly, particularly contemplating most locations add tip and VAT (worth added tax) on restaurant payments.

My recommendation is to funds your journey upfront.

grocery stores within the Bahamas are costly, however costs all the time exceed the excessive margins of inns. So I like to recommend leaving the resort to purchase particular gadgets – like water, snacks, and no matter else you want – from a grocery retailer.

Different methods to keep away from excessive prices are to remain at an Airbnb as an alternative of a resort and to lease a automobile fairly than pay for rides across the island. Keep in mind we’re driving on the left.

Many individuals don’t consider visiting native heritage websites and monuments.

Clifton Pier Heritage Site in New Providence in the Bahamas

The Clifton Pier Heritage Web site is positioned in New Windfall.Nicole Bedford

Many vacationers fail to search out the time to study concerning the Bahamas, however lacking out on the native tradition and historical past does them a disservice.

In Nassau, you possibly can go to locations like Fort Charlotte, Fort Fincastle, the Water Tower, Queen’s Staircase, Clifton Nationwide Heritage Park, and extra. And lots of museums, just like the Nationwide Artwork Gallery of The Bahamas, home works created by proficient native artists.

A go to to the John Watling Distillery, a historic constructing transformed right into a rum distillery, can also be an important cease in Nassau.

Vacationers who come to downtown Nassau only for duty-free buying and luxurious gadgets are lacking out.

straw bags in the bahams

Many retailers promote merchandise made by native artisans.Nicole Bedford

Some guests make the error of strolling round downtown Nassau looking for duty free luxury itemshowever the area has extra to supply than designer purses, Cuban cigars, jewellery and fancy perfumes.

As a substitute, take a look at domestically made items and souvenirs. Nassau has a widely known straw market. Moreover, Bahamian artisans promote genuine straw baggage, conch jewellery, handmade woodcarvings, and different gadgets.

I’ve heard vacationers complain about wet climate once they select to go to throughout hurricane season.

bahamas palm trees blowing in the wind

The Bahamas is stuffed with tons of of gorgeous seashores.Nicole Bedford

As a younger grownup, I labored at a memento stand exterior Fort Charlotte in Nassau.

Each time it rained in the summertime, I heard the vacationers complaining. To allay their apprehensions, we informed them that the precipitation was “liquid sunshine”.

Many guests who arrive on our shores through the summer season months (June to November) do not know they’re arriving in the middle of hurricane season.

Ergo, it is going to rain loads.

The Bahamas solar is powerful and vacationers shouldn’t underestimate how straightforward it’s to get sunburned.

Rose Island nicole bedford on the beach

Rose Island is only a day journey from New Windfall.Nicole Bedford

The energy of the Bahamas solar shouldn’t be underestimated. ‘Trigger we are inclined to have a high UV indexfolks can get a pretty serious sunburn just by strolling across the island.

It is a good suggestion to wear (and reapply) sunscreen through the day. Additionally, bear in mind to put on reef-safe sunscreen and keep away from spray variations to guard the pure atmosphere.

Vacationers ought to stay vigilant and conscious of their environment.

pink house in Eleuthera bahamas

Eleuthera is a brief distance from New Windfall.Nicole Bedford

Vacationers, particularly women traveling aloneshould all the time stay vigilant and aware of his surroundings as they discover new locations.

Like every massive metropolis, New Windfall has criminality, starting from petty makes an attempt to rip-off vacationers on the native straw market to armed robberies. Lately, the island has additionally skilled a rising crime.

To alleviate these issues, the Bahamian authorities and the Royal Bahamas Police Pressure (RBPF) have stationed officers in downtown New Windfall.

After all, it is all the time a good suggestion to remain alert wherever you go.

Vacationers ought to enable sufficient time to look at the attractive sunsets.

pink island in the bahamas

Vacationers must go to a number of islands exterior of New Windfall, such because the Rose Islands.Nicole Bedford

Every island within the Bahamas provides its personal distinctive sundown vantage level. My all-time favourite place to look at the solar go down is on a seaside in western New Windfall.

There’s nothing extra soothing and tranquil than listening to the sound of the waves, watching the colours change within the sky and seeing the solar set under the horizon.

Guests ought to enable ample time for sunsets of their itinerary.

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